TUTORIALS - The Book of Bones - by Doctor Bone


Handouts for my lecture on Gravity and Balance which leads to Rhythm which leads to Angle which leads to Volumes which leads to Interlocking which leads to Twisting which leads to Yin and Yang


Gravity exercises <> building and balancing <> start simple and work to more complex poses <>


These exercises may seem elementary to some but let me assure you that they are very worthwhile. The basic of creating illusion in the western tradition of drawing depends on ones ability to project the illusion of forms in space. The cube for obvious reasons (it has a height, width and depth) is the best and most basic form to depict a spacial relationship. In other words if you can’t get this part right the rest really does not matter.

The universal principle of gravity affects every living thing and artist must feel it and transfer that feeling to the pose.

The Book of Bones is my on going qwest for knowledge about the human form. Think of it as a combination of: De-coding Da Vinci, Illuminating Loomis, Highlighting Hale, Bridgman Unabridged and bits and pieces from the dozens of systems I have learned over the last six centuries. Of course many of these concepts are ones I have developed and are an amalgamation of my experience they will not be found in any book until I publish it.

The order of these post my not follow a direct path because I don’t follow the same path most of the time. I hope that this thread is a help to some of you in your studies.

RK • It would be nice if this thread were a sticky


The Saga Continues…

This page continues the balancing of the masses of the torso and the introduction of the Core 4 landmarks which are based on the Cranial/Sternal index.

The distance from the pit of the neck (supra sternal notch) to the bottom of the sternum (not including the arrow shaped cartiledge) is the same as to the bottom of the tenth rib an again to the pelvic points. Using these bony landmarks is a great help in drawing from imagination.

Although I talk a great deal about method and technique and the science of form you should always remember that in art “The exception is the rule.”


Rum Dumb Doodles <> Basic blocking concepts and variations.


[color=LightBlue] Cubing or Blocking

The bottom line here is that most of us think we can draw a cube and most of us can't. 

It is much more difficult than it appears and requires considerable practice and
attention to procedure.

Drawing in the western tradition is about the illusion of form in space.

To do this we have to first find and then fix the axis/position of the form.

We do this by finding the point of the height line that is closest to us.
We than find the point where the height ends and draw a line through that point.

[color=LightBlue](Note that I said through the point.)

[/color] It is always better to draw/think the line through where how think it visually ends.

Once you have established the height line (H) go back to the closest point and 

lay-in the first width line.

Then the second width line, making sure that they appear to
converge to an imaginary vanishing point.

Close in the shape with the second height line.

You now have a plane (front plane) oriented in space.

You have gone from Point to Line to Plane.

After you have fixed the width it is time to deal with the depth.

Again starting at the closest point of the height line then the 

bottom point of the same height line.

Now you have the depth plane or side plane.

To to create the form put on the top or bottom plane depending on

the axis/position in space.

As I said before this is harder than it  seems and I did one wrong here.

I left it to show just how easy it is to lose the illusion 

if you are not always aware of the axis/position of the form.




Excellent stuff as usual Doctor!

Really appreciated your box tips too. I’ve just come back from holiday during which, to my dismay, I had very little drawing time but I did make the effort to practice some cubes whenever I had the chance. You’re right - I always thought I knew how to draw a cube, and although I could always construct one using finite vanishing points, drawing one on the fly or freehand at a particular angle proved very difficult. I’m still not there, and your tips I’m sure will help a lot. cheers!


I bless this thread with my first post.

I had typed out a rather long and detailed post explaining my hesitation of joining such a daunting forum of extremely high level artists but I was annoyingly logged out when I clicked submit reply, probably due to the length of time I took in typing up my post.
Basically the jist of it was a pretty well thought out and detailed thank you for making me realise that even someone like me (that doesn’t feel as though they can match the talent of many of the other members on the forum) can find more use than merely lurking for eye candy.
Thank you for sharing such detailed and high quality studies and thank you for inspiring me to work harder toward improving my figure drawing abilities.
Keep up the awesome work.


It is now May 25 and there has been no additions to this thread since March. That is a real shame. I have learned more here than all the life drawing courses I took at the University. My “Book of Bones” numbers 603 pages. All of them downloaded and printed from this thread and others (including SOFA). Thank you for your help. Please keep posting. I am particularly interested in feet, hands and head volume.


Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us Mentler. I tried out your method for drawing cubes and you were right I realised that cubes are harder to draw than I thought. Keep sharing with us!


CENTER]Thanks all
here are a few more
shots from the last 3
Anatomy Academy sessions
DVD’s moving foreword.
Will get caught up on visiting your
threads when we get done filming…



Gorgeous work, thanks for sharing. :slight_smile:


Love the “Fishing Pole”!


Yes, works great, my wife found is discarded not knowing is was broken she brought it home, It is extremely light with a good grip and I have great control with it. It really feels like an extention of my arm.

It allows me to stand far enough from the drawing that the whole class can see what is going on.

And of course there is always the wow factor of drawing with a two foot stick.


DVD’s Moving forward <> this shot was taken during a break while shootion Hands dvd.


It’s the first here, on your thread, amazing work!! I’m realy going to study this, thank you! :smiley:
By the way can you tell me what materials you use to draw? It looks like you use some kind of material to make lights and highlights that I’m curious in :slight_smile:

Also in the firstests posts from you I heard something about a books and a DVD how’s that coming? when will it be possible for us to get ours hands on thoses :slight_smile:

And Finaly sorry for my English :stuck_out_tongue:


[B]Will launch massive feedback attack soon to
all of your thread and leave mega stars.
Please know you are appreciated.
For us time is not necessarily money but it is art!

Duplicate Post In Sketchbooks

A few pages of coffee stains and other things.



mr. Mentler-
these drawings are amazing. your methods are so creative and inspiring. These latest drawings are very Leonardo-esque. what type of paper is used here? and is that a giant ink brush you’re using on the DVD shots?
oh, and your script is beautiful. I hope to study your drawings in order to improve, myself. I’ve been studying artistic anatomy diligently for a few months, but your work is possibly the most creative and educational at the same time. I am so I happy I’ve stumbled upon your work.


[b][i]A couple a pages and a
few thoughts about
eyes and expression.

One thing that I have not
seen explained in the books
are the reasons for the angle
of the eye in profile.

There are several factors that
contribute to the severity of
the angle.

Number one is that the axis of
the eye ball is pointed slightly
downward when we are looking
straight ahead.

Second the upper lid usually crosses
the thickness of the iris and the lower
lid generally passes under it.

The third factor that is often
overlooked is that the upper
lid is considerably thicker than
the lower lid.

All of these factors taken together
account for the angle or slant of
the lids from a profile view.

This angle is usually underestimated
by beginners and many
experienced artists.

We generally draw our own features
because we have looked at them
thousands of times.

Most of us have developed a
generic shorthand for eyes which
does not take into consideration
the expressive qualities that are
present in the model.

I also think that it is important
to draw the whole head or
at least the socket and side
of the nose when drawing

It is my belief that we should
take every opportunity to
see the relationship of each
piece of the puzzle to its

These are just a few of
the possible expressions.

If you intend to be an
illustrator or portrait artist
you should spend some
time learning are expression.